|Potsdam Toilet Garden T-Shirt|
I had done up this design when I first started my local t-shirt scheme, but had been discouraged by several people not to pursue its production for fear that people don't have a good sense of humor about the 'sensitive' subject.
It's a long story and an inside joke for locals, but this article sort of covers the basis (and the fact that this shirt got so much attention speaks to its relevancy to regional/local issues).
Anyway, the design was perfect to try out with my new Cricut, and test its detail abilities. It is rather difficult to weed this design, in particular the small lettering. But the result is worth it. I snapped a photo of the test shirt I'd done, posted it to facebook as I often like to show the projects I've made. It was shared by a fellow local artist and went 'North Country' viral. Many people were asking if/where they could get one, so I threw up a listing on etsy.
I've sold just over a couple dozen, which for me is enough of having to produce the same thing over and over. I'm glad it was overall well-received and that there are people who have a sense of humor about the zoning dispute that has turned into quite a hot-button issue for the small town.
More than anything, I like the idea (and so do others) that we can recognize, honor and even celebrate our local issues, whether we support one side of them or another.
The Technical Stuff
This is made from Thermoflex Heat Transfer Vinyl. I was skeptical of vinyl transfers before I started using the products. They actually are very soft and not at all as thick as I thought they'd be.
This design is three different requires and therefore requires three different transfer applications with the heat press. It's cold peel, so you have to let the transfer and shirt cool down between applying the different colors. I did have a bit of a bleeding problem with the pink onto the white with the original test one. But the Thermoflex brand had no bleeding issues. And by bleeding, it just looks like some of the pink edges are smudged where they touch the white if you look very closely at the design.
I also was uncertain as to whether the cotton shirts would shrink upon washing and wrinkle around the vinyl. So I prewashed the shirts to prevent any such issue. I however did not think to prewash my original t-shirts, but they went through wash and dry without any puckering or wrinking, showing that the vinyl is not just durable but adaptable, having some give.